Exploring Careers for PhDs

 A wide range of career opportunities are available for PhD-trained researchers in academia, industry, policy, consulting, education, business, law, and government, and more. But how do you identify and explore these career paths, and how do you determine which are a good fit for you? 
 

1. Check out "Every Month is Career Exploration Month for PhDs"

2. Read about your options!

  • Read about 20 different career paths for PhD-level scientists (both in academia and beyond academia) in the Career Exploration section of Science Magazine's myIDP site. (note: there is a login)
  • Read about career options for PhDs at the National Postdoc Association's Career Exploration website. Includes info for careers in Teaching, Science Policy, Science Writing, Entrepreneurial Careers and others.


3. Try a structured career exploration program

UCSF’s Motivating INformed Decisions (MIND) program guides graduate students and postdocs though a career exploration program designed to minimize the amount of time you spend away from your lab. In this structured program, students and postdocs:
 
  • engage in coursework to develop the skills and tools they need to explore a variety of career paths
  • explore different career environments by connecting with biomedical PhDs in careers outside academic research.

 

4. Do an internship or fellowship

Nothing beats spending some time in the type of work environment you think you'd like to inhabit one day.  And nothing makes you more attractive to a potential employer than having experience working in that field.


5. Talk to a career counselor

Schedule an appointment with Program Director Patti Meyer, PhD, to discuss your non academic career. Not sure where to start? Look for a 20 minute mini appointment to get started. You can schedule here

 

6. Find your community

There are a wide range of registered campus organizations for every interest, from science communication to biotech and policy. Check out the organizations which might be a good fit for you